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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Domestic Adoption....orphan or not?





Right from the beginning, I am going to give the disclaimer that I am not an expert on this subject. The past few weeks I have had quite a few emails regarding domestic adoptions. I am VERY PASSIONATE about these babies and their birthmothers. Abortion is RAMPANT here in the US. It is an easy "out," for some women but for some, is their only option (so they think). African American children are the last children to be adopted. With both of our domestic adoptions, we were our birthmothers only options.

I have journeyed through two domestic adoptions. They were both TOTALLY different. (kinda like pregnancies, no two are alike) I have had positive responses like "I am so glad that you have children from the US, we have so many kids over here that need families and everybody keeps going overseas!!" Then there are negative responses like " are these children REALLY orphans? I mean, they have a mother, they are not sitting in an orphanage with no one to love them...they are in America, they are not going to starve to death, and not receive the medical care that is needed" I could fill up a whole page of responses that people have taken it upon themselves to "share" with me. I think I have a sign on my forehead that says "SHARE...SHARE EXACTLY what is on your heart in regards to my family!" haha

I've been walking with a friend through a domestic adoption. The social worker calls and says "we would like to show your profile to a birth mom.....here is her story..blah blah blah." Then, YOU decide if you want your profile to be shown....the struggle starts. Do we show it? Are we open to STD's? marijuana? cigarettes? alcohol? and the list goes on....and then you start feeling like you are "playing God." we WILL do this, we WON'T do that, we are open to this.....The grandparents start sharing about how they are concerned about the heartache that the adoption will bring. They ask: "What about the birthparents medical history? what if they have had mental illness?"

Well, if you do an international adoption...do you know any of those details? NO! But for some reason, it is safer in people's minds. Perhaps what you don't know won't hurt you? How do you "classify" an orphan? The definitions of the word orphan vary from 1)a child who has lost both parents 2)someone who lacks care, or support or supervision 3) a fatherless child.

At the end of the day, in domestic adoption, there is a single woman (typically) who cannot care for her child. IT IS A TRAGEDY. Regardless of your circumstances, there is not ONE single part of a mother's heart that wants to hand the child that she has been carrying for nine months to someone else to love. Often, after laboring and delivering these babies, these girls feel a love for these babies that they HAVE NEVER KNOWN or FELT in their entire lives, just to do the most sacrificial act, give them away, so that they can have a better life than they could ever offer. Even the children that are created from the act of rape. After carrying these babies for nine months, the mothers have so much love for them. I have a whole new perspective of these ladies that make an adoption plan after walking through the process alongside them. I pray for all three of my children's birth mom's EACH AND EVERY day and I thank my sweet Jesus for those women. I will never forget the first time that I was handed Joshua and the mom walked away. I literally fell in a slump over him and wept until I could hardly breathe. I felt as though my heart had been plucked straight from my chest. My heart THROBBED on her behalf. It was THE MOST life changing moment of my life and I have NEVER been the same since....

If there wasn't domestic adoption, we would have to have orphanages in the US. We would be so overwhelmed in our foster systems. If there wasn't this option for many of these mothers, we would find many more children left in dumpsters or they would try to parent them and who knows what the the future of these children would be. Abortion would be even MORE rampant. So, I am asked regularly "where is the largest need?" Hhhhhmmm...everywhere, there are hundreds of millions of needs.

Do we really think that our sweet Savior is sitting on his throne picking and choosing which child we should love because one is more in need than the other? Do we really think that if we bring a child into our home through domestic OR international that one might be where we are NOT "called" and if we bring one home from the wrong place that we will not be in His will and be sinning against Him? Sometimes I think that He just sits up there on that throne and just shakes his head thinking "THEY ARE MISSING IT!!!!" I just want you to love each other. It is so simple....LOVE ONE ANOTHER. We spend so much time thinking about WHAT we should do, instead of actually putting it to action.

I am so excited to talk to my friends that just came back from Africa. I cannot wait to say "SO, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT?!?!" They went, they saw, and now they know. I am sure that they are still processing it, so if they are at a loss, I have ALL KINDS of ideas for them! (hahahaha) The blog world is another crazy thing. We are exposed to story after story in people's lives. We have learned things that we NEVER knew before blogs. So all of you "bloggers" that don't necessarily travel...now that you know, what do you do with it?

I have done domestic adoption and international adoption. I would choose them BOTH again, again, and again. I would choose an HIV+ child again , again, and again.



29 comments:

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I was adopted at a year old and I am so thankful that my birth mother chose that for me. This might sound totally weird, but the other night I had a dream and the only thing I remember about it was that Josie Love was in it and I was hugging her with a love that brought me to tears in my dream. That's all that the dream was. And I only recently starting reading your blog, so I hope you don't think I'm totally crazy! Ha!! I suppose her story has just touched my heart, as it has so many others, no doubt.

soontobemomof9 said...

We have done Domestic infant, foster adoption, and international adoptions. The needs were great with each one.

I have come to understand that God intricately designs each family. He calls one to a child, not general adoption. He will see the child He has created to be a part of your family into your arms!

Great post! :)

Every child deserves a family! Whatever their physical state!

mamamargie said...

Thank you for posting this!!!!!! We have 5 adopted children, all from the US foster care system. Adopting from the US doesn't seem as romantic as traveling overseas, but it's soooo necessary!

When I was little, my mom used to sing an old song to us called "Brighten the Corner Where You Are." It talked about taking care of the need around you before running off to faraway places. It has really stuck with me.

I'm not saying NOT to adopt from overseas, goodness NO! What I am saying, is not to cross domestic adoptions off either. Faith has no safety nets. You either trust God with the outcome of your adoption or you don't.

We have been and continue to be overwhelmed by the great need. It's easy to become paralyzed by the enormity of the problem. We've found it best to just keep asking God to show us step-by-step where to go and what to do next, trusting that He remembers we are but dust and won't take us any faster than we can go.

We're starting our next adoption. Where it will be from or who will join our family, we don't know. We're praying for guidance and we're praying for the newest member(s) of our family ... wherever they may be right now.

James 1:27 Family said...

Having adopted both domestically and internationally, we get the same comments you have experienced and it's usually from people who have not adopted, are not planning to adopt, don't help orphans, and aren't planning to help them. Funny how that works, huh? Thank you for sharing your heart. It's like you wrote exactly what I'm feeling.

Much love in Jesus,
Amy

Janel said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts! I loved this line: We spend so much time thinking about WHAT we should do, instead of actually putting it to action. So true!

Andrea said...

AMEN! What a wonderful post!!!

ASH said...

Amen. I volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center, and just last week we had a beautiful lady come in with a--literally--beat up face. Domestic violence. Wanted to protect the little life growing inside her. Considering adoption. There is a HUGE need here, just a different kind of need. Jesus, open our eyes to the brokenness ALL AROUND US.

Rachel said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this. I didn't know that you had done domestic adoptions I thought you had only done international. We are in the process of doing a domestic adoption. We are going to adopt an AA boy because of the need. Do you have an agency that you recommend? We are in the process of fundraising and it seems as soon as we have the funds we will be matched because of the need. growingwithjoy.blogspot.com
~Rachel

Rachel said...

I hope it is ok but I added a link to this post on my blog

Renee said...

Thank you so much for a very thoughtful, insightful post. The fact that your family was the only option for the birthmoms just totally shocked me. I honestly thought people were standing in line waiting to adopt domestically. I am just totally floored and you just rocked my world. What happens to the babies where there is no 'only one option'? Do they go into foster care? I am just stunned that there aren't more people waiting for newborn non-white babies. Wow. Can you share what agency you used?

I feel like your post is the Lord nudging me in this direction. DH will probably think I'm totally off my rocker if I bring it up. How DO you know if it's the Lord's leading, or just your heartstrings being tugged? How DO you know how much you can handle??

Wow, lots to ponder over my coffee this afternoon...

Envyshope said...

WOW! This post is amazing! We are in the process of having a child placed with us through domestic adoption. He has some special needs such as visual impairment. We began our adoption journey with international adoption, but God navigated our family where we were needed most. I would love to share your post because you have said so eloquently what we believe! God wants children to have families! ALL CHILDREN! From everywhere! Domestic & Int'l Adoption are so important and are both needed! Thank you so much for blessing us with your words of encouragement today! My heart is full!

Blessings,

Kelli Stever
envyshope@gmail.com
ourlittlenoodles.blogspot.com

Shannon said...

I'm wondering the same information as Rachel above. Do you have a domestic agency you would recommend for an African American adoption? You can email shannon(at)israelprophitt(dot)com
Thank you.

Danielle said...

Love this! Thanks for sharing so concisely! I really believe God wants all believers to get involved in caring for His children all over the world as well as right here at home.....We have two daughters that we just adopted from Ethiopia, and are currently in the process of getting certified to be foster parents....kids are kids, and need to be loved with Christ's love...whether they are biological, international or American!!!

Schenk Family Blog said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Suzanne. We are adopting from Uganda but know of several organizations there that are wanting to keep the kids in country as much as possible. So we struggle with the thought that we will be taking this child from their country. But on the other hand, the need is so Great! If not adoption for some of these kids.....they will end up in slums, in prostitution, as glue addicts, or boarding school. It seems like there is so much need that if you help where you experience God's burden, that's at least a step forward.....blessing to you!!!

Sophie said...

The greatest tragedy is that these little humans are in need of a family and deserving of love and so often people view them as lepers. I am so astonished at peoples response as to why one child deserves to be adopted over another.

We are in the process of our 2nd Int'l adoption, we feel this is were God is leading us and if it is His will for us to one day adopt domestic than we will certainly follow His lead.

Great post

laura said...

My son joined our family through domestic adoption. A young woman, at that time unknown to us, found herself in a situation she did not have the resources to cope with, and graciously gave us the gift of her baby. We do know that she did not use drugs or alcohol during her pregnancy, but we do not know the answers to many questions you spoke about in your post- because we did not ask. When god offers a gift so unimaginable, is it right to question his choice for you? Our son is perfect in every way. We were unconditionally blessed , and we unconditionally accepted. I thank god everyday for my son. Adoption, domestic or international, is a gift to everyone involved.

Julie said...

Wow! Love, Love this post!!!! Thanks so much for putting it all out there...the good, the bad, and the ugly! You inspire me!!!

Erica said...

Fantastic post. Absolutely beautiful. Adoption is important whether it's Domestic or International. A need is a need. No child should live without a family to fight for them, love them, defend them, and enjoy them. You bless my heart, love you.

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachelle said...

Thank you so much for addressing this issue! We are finally stepping out of our comfort zone to seek adoption through the foster care system. And I have wondered at moments if this is the right direction (like are we really caring for orphans?). The child we will adopt is likely sitting in foster care today, well fed, warm...but do they know they have a hope and a future? More and more my heart knows this is God's plan for our family and that this is about more than physical needs.

Jill said...

Suzanne, Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post. I have felt so alone in this matter about the comments of dom. vs. inter. and I have told myself that others feelings ultimately do not matter, but I am human and as a woman whose heart beats for orphans the comments do take their toll. My heart is just sad that things can't be simple, just as you have stated "Just love". Why do people have to question it? With every question my heart aches. It is like in their minds they have reduced God's mercy and grace to a checklist of who really needs salvation, praise God for no checklists because I would have never made it. I also get a common comment that drives me crazy with my domestic adoption. It is like most people want to try to lift me up by putting the birthmom down and that DRIVES ME CRAZY! I really think that this why many birthmom's turn to abortion now. I know birthmoms that have chose adoption for 1 child (and due to non-Christian behavior by "so-called" Christians and their hypocritical behavior) then chose to abort their next pregnancy. When I hear this, I am saddened and sick and angry all at the same moment. The very people, Christians, that are called to step into the gap, are the reason why some of these birthmoms chose abort. They see the pain of abortion less that the condemnation of Christian who beat them down for their brave decision to bring life into this world, when the world is screaming at them otherwise. I would love to know your thoughts on this. Love and prayers to your family, Thank you again for posting and comforting me through your own loneliness in this, Love, Jill jagoston97atgmail.com

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Two thoughts.... first, a friend of mine told me one time when a mutual friend lost a family member, "Don't ask what you can do for them. Just go do SOMETHING!" Great advice, I've never forgotten it! So, you tell 'em sister! :)

Second thing... I agree with you on the domestic vs. international thing. I've only done international, BUT, I've walked with moms on the domestic side and their issues are very similar (attachment wise) to the ones we face. Their birthmother backgrounds are no safer OR scarier than the ones of my children. Need is all around us. However, where I DON'T believe there is a need and where I think people are missing it is the people who line up for YEARS AND YEARS for a HEALTHY WHITE INFANT. I don't think God really gives a hot-diggity what color your baby is. Lord knows I hope not anyway because if He cares about color, what if I am the wrong color? Guess no one ever thinks about that when they are advertising on those college campuses for those white infants.

Audrey said...

Thank you so much for this post! We are in the process of our first adoption which is a domestic african american adoption. When we began our journey, our hearts were pulled internationally. But one by one God began closing those doors for us. And He opened the door to domestic adoption. Our hearts and minds have been opened to what birth mothers go through and how they feel. We have had similar responses when we talk about our upcoming adoption so it's great to hear this perspective.

Polly said...

Oh I am so thrilled to have read your amazing post on domestic adoption! thank you, thank you, thank you! You put into words so eloquently what many are feeling but don't know how to express. We have three biological blessings and are pursuing domestic transracial adoption. We started with international but halfway through felt led in a totally different direction. Still open to international for future adoptions but excited to see what God has planned for our family here in the U.S. I agree with your definition of an orphan and just feel incredibly blessed that we are on this journey. BTW we are using Nightlight Adoptions which was formerly Carolina Hope, which came recommended by the guys who put on the "Together for Adoption" conferences.
God bless you!!

Deb said...

Great post. Really blessed by it as a mama of a sweet domestic treasure and now a positive Ugandan princess. :)
Blessings!
Deb

Dardi said...

Just happened upon your blog...this is an amazing post that hits so close to home for me! We have adopted from foster care, Ethiopia, & just last week brought home our little girl through domestic adoption. I could not agree more with what you have said. I also read your blog about birth mothers & have actually had a post on this subject brewing in my head. I am so ferociously protective of our birth mother when the stupid remarks are made. The post will come, but I just was finally able to share the story of how our sweet girl came to us!

Sarah said...

Thank you for your amazing post! I totally agree, there is no child that is worth less or more than another and domestic or international, they all need homes and love! We just brought our sweet little boy home form Africa in July and have had so many negative comments from people seemingly angry that we chose to adopt from Uganda instead of choosing to adopt from the US when there are many children needing homes here. It has always frustrated me because they are basically saying that African children aren't worth as much. So not the case! We looked into domestic adoption. We felt lead to Uganda. We intend to adopt again in the future and may do a domestic adoption. There are no children more worthy of homes than others. They ALL need homes. It is just about where we feel God leading us and I am so glad that there are families that feel lead to adopt and do so from all over the world including America!

Anonymous said...

We have a lovely daughter adopted from the US (we are from Canada, and there is a lot of AA adoption movement from the States into Canada), but have been waiting 18 months now for a second child, and have had three adoption reversals (very, very difficult). Just saw the new program in the Congo, where the government is trying really hard to get the many orphans adopted internationally. We're considering having two adoption dossiers, one in the US and one in the Congo, just because we could realistically never get chosen in the adoption pool system (but we still strongly support Birth Parent choice and open adoption). It's a difficult decision, because we love the agency we adopted our little girl from, and we're hoping for proximity of Birth Moms/Dads....

Michelle said...

I reread this blog today. We are adopting domestically for the first time. This will be our third child. We are 7 months into the process and I am sturggling with are we doing enough. This blog post again reminds me I am not incharge of this process God is and that we are doing what He says we should do. Thank you, Thank you for your encouragement!!! God knew this is exactly what I needed to hear TODAY!!!

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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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